The Sanctuary of Bonaria has a very fascinating history. Built as a gift to the Mercedari religious by Alfonso of Aragon in a short time it became the largest center of devotion to the Virgin Mary in the whole island. It is said that in 1370 a mysterious chest that ended up in the water from a Spanish sailing ship landed on the beach in the area. Several people tried to open it or even just lift it but in vain. Act in which the friars of the Mercede succeeded in carrying it up to the small church. Once the box was opened they found a statue of the Madonna holding the Child Jesus in her arms and a candle still lit in the other hand. From that moment she was venerated as a protector and in 1908 proclaimed patron saint of Sardinia.